Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:03

RichmondCC to host yoga class for kids

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Yoga instructor Ashleigh Arey, shown here giving lessons on a group bow pose, will be teach a yoga class for kids starting June 17. Yoga instructor Ashleigh Arey, shown here giving lessons on a group bow pose, will be teach a yoga class for kids starting June 17. Courtesy Areysasana Facebook page

HAMLET -- All across Richmond County, if there is a yoga class being taught, chances are Ashleigh Arey is in charge.

Age doesn't seem to matter either as young and old alike can learn the tricks of the trade from Arey after she garnered the required 200 hours of yoga teaching training plus additional kids yoga teaching training.

"I teach a little bit everywhere all over the county," said Arey.

Starting Monday, June 17 from 9 a.m. to noon, Arey will be showing kids age 7 to 11 the ropes everyday that week at the same time inside the Grimsley building on the campus of Richmond Community College. For $40 for the whole week, Arey said included in the class, besides a healthy snack, will be what's called a mindfulness walk.

"I don't wanna give away all the details," she said. "We'll do the walk. I'll tell them to draw a certain tree that I pick out. We'll do it everyday, and hopefully by Friday they'll be able to notice more details."

Angineek Gillenwater, director of workforce and economic development, said the adult yoga class runs during the regular school year and with a lot of participation. Between Gillenwater and Arey, the kids' yoga class was born.

"Ashleigh does other children's yoga classes, so I thought it would be great to try it on our campus," said Gillenwater. "She and I discussed it several times, and I asked around to some other parents to gauge interest."

Arey said she's been teaching adults at RichmondCC for a while now, and with the kids taking part in STEM camps at the school, Gillenwater came to Arey and thought a childrens' yoga class would be a good idea.

Arey first found yoga as a form of exercise in a class in college at UNC Pembroke.

"They did a head stand. It's a more challenging posture. That's what made me say, 'I wanna come back,'" said Arey. "From there, doing my teacher training and getting more involved, it's more than just about the physical body. It's about the mental health. I kind of fell in love from there."

Arey got her training from Hot Asana University in Southern Pines, and she also teaches at Evolution Health Club in downtown Rockingham and Peaceful Butterfly Yoga Studio on Main Street in Hamlet. Johnnie Butterfield, owner of Butterfly Yoga, has also offered to sponsor a child that may not be able to afford the class, according to Arey.

"I definitely wanna introduce yoga to some kids in the community," said Arey. "We're gonna be doing breathing exercises, walks on the RichmondCC Kindley Fitness Trail, we'll be making vision boards, as well."

A vision board, she said, is a board where kids can put pictures from magazines, their own photos and other items to decorate it with that convey what they see in their future when they get older.

"We'll also do one of the glitter bottles if you get stressed out," said Arey. "It's just water and glue for kids who have autism. You can put glitter, Legos, letters in your name and when you shake it up, finding different items in the bottle helps to calm kids down. It's to give them the tools to calm them in between the moments when things happen and how they chose to react. It gives them time to calm down before they get angry and blow up."

Arey will also be teaching an adult yoga class beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22 inside the Calvin Little Room of Leath Memorial Library in downtown Rockingham. That class is free and open to the public.

"Richmond County offers a variety of sports camps during the summer," said Gillenwater. "While yoga is not technically a sport, it is great exercise and translate well into other sports. It is a great way to get kids involved in exercise during the summer that will hopefully translate through the school year and into adulthood."